A pair of young teams took the court Saturday in the first dual of a young season for Minnesota’s women’s tennis team.
Appropriately enough, two of the team’s youngest players keyed its 4-3 victory over Eastern Michigan.
Minnesota split the singles points but already had the doubles point thanks to a gutsy performance from freshmen Jane Anderson and Danielle Mousseau, in which they reeled off seven straight games to turn a 5-1 deficit into an 8-5 victory at Baseline Tennis Center.
Anderson led the Gophers during the fall portion of the season, as she went 8-6 in singles matches. She also held the best doubles record on the team along with partner Marina Bugaenco, going 3-1.
But this time, Anderson was paired up in doubles competition with Mousseau.
Eastern Michigan’s Vanessa Frankowski and Victoria Domina started the match off strong, jumping out to an early 5-1 lead.
Despite falling behind early, Gophers coach Tyler Thomson encouraged them to be aggressive. They responded by running off seven games in a row to win the match 8-5.
“The first six games, they played like deer in the headlights,” Thomson said about Anderson and Mousseau’s performances. “They got some momentum back, started communicating better and they started relying on each other a little bit more.”
Ida Malmberg and Nischela Reddy also won their doubles match 8-5 over the Eagles’ Elizabeth Syrova and Yana Parfenyuk to give the Gophers an early 1-0 lead.
Minnesota’s Megan Steiger and Jenna Tellefsen lost a close match 9-7 to Catherina Bestahorn and Flavia Micati.
The two teams then split the singles matches.
Reddy, the team’s most experienced player as a junior, won her No. 1 singles match 6-4, 6-2 against Syrova, while Anderson lost her No. 2 singles match 6-2, 6-4 to Frankowski.
Malmberg’s win at No. 3 and Mousseau’s win at No. 4 gave the Gophers their 4-3 victory.
Thomson said, overall, it was a solid start to the season.
“I was really pleased,” Thomson said about his team’s performance. “I thought for a first match of the season, we did well.”
The team’s next competition will be Saturday and Sunday when they play host to the Minnesota Court Classic at Baseline Tennis Center.